Monday, April 27, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Magadan (pop. 90,000) from Nagaeva Bay, Sea of OkhotskI was graduated from the Biology department of the Ural State University in 1977. At that time I have decided to find me place to live as far north and east as possible. Russian Far East for Russia is the same as Alaska for Americans - the "last frontier". I have succeeded to organize an official invitation from the Institute of Biological Problems of the North (Rus. Acad. Sci.) - and I still work in this research institute. I am a fish biologist (Ph.D. in fish biology). Every summer and fall I spend in expeditions. I used to work in different regions of the Russian Far East: Chukotka and Kamchatka, Yakutia and Magadan region, Primorie and Khabarovsk region, Amurski region, Sakhalin and Kuril Islands. The fish which I like the most is grayling, even though I used to work with other Salmonid fish: Pacific salmon, steelhead, charr and taimen. When I first came to Magadan, I was an excitable spin-fisherman. I have liked other kinds of fishing as well - drift-fishing with salmon eggs, plannerboard with flies, ice-fishing with lures or bait. Abundance of fish was gradually diminishing my interest to fishing - catching fish was becoming too easy. Besides that, use of bait of treble hooks do not suite catch-and-release. In an old magazine I've found the know-how of silk fly-line. Another line I've made out of plastic covering of electric wiring. My first rod and reel were self-made as well. This tackle was rather clumsy, but suitable for practical fishing. I was learning to cast from the magazine articles and English books. With these primitive fly-tackle I've landed several salmon, dozens of charr and lots of grayling.
Self-portret from underwater: this is how the fish see us...
Every summer since 1992 I was working as a guide with fishermen from Western Europe and US; many of them were high class fly-fishermen. In every journey I was doing my job and at the same time learning: learning from the fishermen and from the nature. Russian Far East is true "last frontier" for flyfishermen - many of our sportfish were never caught with flies before. In literature there is no information on such species as Sakhalin taimen, cherry salmon, whitespotted charr - or on diverse predators from the huge Amur River. When starting to "survey" these species I had to invent new flies and fishing tactics. From that time I've abandoned the spinning gear. Drift-tackle I am using only in winter, when it is too cold to flyfish. My recent passion is photography, including underwater photography in lakes and rivers.
From 1998 I am regularily writing for the Russian sport-fishing magazines, mostly for Rybolov-Elite (Elite Fisherman) & for the only Russian flyfishing magazine Nakhlyst (Flyfishing). In 2003-2004 I was at the editorial board of Nakhlyst. By 2009 I had publishes over 70 popular articles. In 1990 I have published my first book on sport-fishing (20,000 copies printed in Russian). Recently I have self-published a book on fly-fishing in the Russian Far East. It is 304 pages colored book, which was printed in Russian in March 2007 (2,000 copies).
From 1994 till 2005 I was working with the Wild Salmon Center . Now I am free-lance journalist, writing for sportfishing and outdoor magazines, mostly Russian ones. Besides that, I take part in environmental projects of different type, including the ones in the field of industrial ecology. I continue working with fly-fishermen, collaborate with sportfishing clubs of the Russian Far East, take part in casting and fly-tying training programs.